The Lexicon, is a work in progress, offering a generalised guide to the meaning of the Latin and Greek words used in the formation of the compound words used in the construction of scientific names.
It is subject to continuous updates, additions, and modifications.
An introduction to the ancient Greek alphabet.
Although scientific names are nominally considered to be based on Latin many of them are derived from Greek either directly or as ‘loan’ words incorporated into Latin in Roman times. As the Lexicon includes Greek words in the original language as part of the etymology, this simple guide to the Greek alphabet is provided for those unfamiliar with the subject.
Words relating to number or quantity.
Scientific names often include references to number or quantity when describing a species in terms of external appearance, enumerating features such as spots, lines, bars, or other distinguishing attributes.
Terms relating to colour are frequently encountered in the make-up of the scientific names of aquatic animals, particularly in those names referring to fishes.
Along with terms relating to colour those relating to markings or pattern are frequently encountered in the make-up of the scientific names of aquatic animals, particularly in those names referring to fishes.
Suffixes, or word endings, can modify the meaning of a compound word or indicate grammatical properties such as case, gender, or number.
Eponyms are names which honour a person such as a zoologist, ichthyologist, colleague, friend, family member, or dignitary.